Sara Louisa Lasley
UDC

Source:  The Highlander, 5 March 1987










 




Granite Shoals Woman Displays War Medal
abstracted from news article by Anita Mitchell:

Mrs. Sara Louisa Lasley, proudly showed off a Southern Cross of Honor earned some 120 years ago by her grandfather, John Applewhite Brewer, to members of  UDC Chapter 2498.

Her grandfather served as a private in the CSA and was a member of Company I, Mississippi Light Artillery.  He was taken captive by the Union forces and placed in prison at Fortress Jefferson off the coast of Florida in the Dry Tortugas Islands.  He was able to escape with the assistance of a friendly guard and made his way back to the mainland.  He was granted a pardon after the war was over during a general amnesty period.

The Southern Cross of Honor was authorized by the Confederate Congress on October 13, 1862 "in grateful recognition of the valor of officers, non-commissioned officers and privates for conspicuous courage and good conduct on the battlefield."

However, with wartime shortages and blockades of southern ports, the country was not able to manufacture and present the award.  Those who earned the medals were recorded by name in the Adjutant and Inspector General's records "for reference in all future times."

In 1899, the UDC had a medal struck with the motto of the Confederate States, "DeoVindice," (God, Our Vindicator) 1861-1865, surrounded by a laurel wreath with the inscription "Southern Cross of Honor."  The reverse side of the medal has the Confederate battle flag surrounded by a laurel wreath with the inscription, "UDC to the UVC."

The medal was designed by Mrs. Alexander S. Erwin and manufactured by Charles W. Crankshaw of Atlanta, Georgia.  The first presentation was made on Confederate Memorial Day on April 26, 1900.

By 1913, 78,761 medals had been awarded to Confederate soldiers, among them Mrs. Lasley's grandfather, who received his personally.  Although many of the medals were buried with the veterans, the UDC continues to try to locate and record the whereabouts of any existing medals.
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